While not a brand-new offering, Quantcast represents the next generation of media research and is worth checking out. I have written about Quantcast in passing over the last year or two (full disclosure, I did some early consulting for them and have a small number of stock options), and I find that many agency-side and publisher-side folks that I talk to are unfamiliar with their services. Quantcast merits attention and today, I'll tell you why.
The most recent MetricsInsider article by Josh Chasin describes the excellent work of Young-Bean Song of Atlas in engagement mapping. Based on the eminently logical idea that there are many sources we turn to along the way to making a purchase decision, an engagement map proposes to look at the complexity of influence in digital media. It's not just about the "last click," which of course is very often Google.
Last week I moderated the "Metrics Maelstrom" panel at Ad:Tech. A couple of key themes emerged from panelists Jon Gibs (Nielsen Online), Young-Bean Song (Atlas), and Beth Uyenco (Microsoft, and new co-chair of the IAB Research Council.) One of these themes was the need to understand the relative roles and impacts of the broad plethora of marketing communications to which a consumer is exposed.
Measuring click-throughs, pageviews and revenues is revealing, but it's a bit like asking an in-store shopper how well they like your store based on the time of day they came in, which aisles they went down and how much they bought. Figuring out if they enjoyed the experience is a different story. Recency and frequency can give you some insights about loyalty and time on-site might be indicative of a positive visit, but you won't be able to measure whether your visitor thinks your site is great or ghastly unless you ask them.
For the last couple of years, I have been writing and speaking about the need for media dashboards. Now we're in the final process of evaluating a slew of dashboard options. To someone who has not gone through the pain of adopting a new technology for the media market, the general feeling, based on the demos that are being shown by these vendors, is that it's just like the Staples campaign: getting a dashboard is akin to pressing the easy button. In many cases, the companies will give you a month or two or three for free, so there is …
My wife and I are big fans of the" Law & Order" franchises -- those erstwhile crime dramas on NBC and most cable networks that feature, as creator Dick Wolf puts it, "A universe of characters." We've noticed, through studied observation, that there are six or seven common, recurring themes to the "Law & Order" plotlines. One of these is, "The Internet is evil." (Another is, "Never screw with the Russian mob.") In an early episode of "Law & Order: SVU," Stabler is explaining to his young teenage daughter why he reads her email. "Now they're coming in through there," …
So how should Web analysts use audience measurement reports, data from ad-servers and Web analytics tools to perform their job? The conflicts that arise from combining these tools to answer business questions are sometimes harder to explain than the numbers they provide. Knowing that the three data resources will never match each other, when and why do you use each tool? And how do you explain to your internal constituents (usually your manager, other data consumers or the CMO) the variances that are just about un-resolvable?
n last Friday's Metrics Insider, Judah Phillips talked about a "Multi-Channel Analytics Team." He makes some very good points, and I'd like to build on his thesis today.
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